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Christmas is back in Central Point

Photo by Denise BarattaFire District No. 3 Chaplain Lorin Myers played Santa during a ride on a fire engine last year through Central Point.

After a year of socially distanced festivities, the city of Central Point is gearing up for a return of everyone’s favorite holiday happenings.

Tree lighting and Santa visits – check.

Holiday parade – check, check.

Central Point Chamber President Stephanie Hendrickson said the folks in charge of all things fun — namely the city and chamber — had been chomping at the bit to see their streets filled with community members decked out in Santa hats and wide grins.

This year’s holiday festival is slated for Saturday, Dec. 4, featuring a parade and tree lighting.

The return of the annual parade — COVID put the kibosh on last year’s event — will step off at 5:15 p.m. and head down Pine Street followed by a 6 p.m. tree lighting behind City Hall and the Central Point library.

“We are very excited for this holiday season. Last year we had a very pared-down version where basically the City Council and the mayor did a small tree lighting and we did do a socially distanced community Christmas for the kids so that we had at least something fun for them to do,” Hendrickson said.

“The chamber always tries to have activities that involve children visiting local businesses with a passport, and they get a stamp at each business and then they’re given a treat like a candy cane or cocoa. Not getting to have that in person last year, we think everyone really missed it. The holidays are all about bringing everyone together to celebrate, so that’s what we’re hoping to have happen this year.”

This year’s kid-friendly activities include visits with Santa, chamber activities and hot cocoa.

The city of Central Point will host Santa’s Village with free crafts, hot cocoa and other fun activities for the whole family. They’re also encouraging local families to bring homemade cards for local seniors, being collected as part of the city’s “Community Cupids.”

An annual favorite, Table Rock Kiwanis will be on hand at the Central Point Library for its “Books For Kids” holiday book giveaway.

With the parade, tree lighting and fun activities, Christmas will once again be in full swing Dec. 4.

“We’ve been so excited while planning this. We almost had to hold ourselves back because, after missing last year, we want to do ALL the things this year,” Hendrickson said. “We’re just so excited to bring our community Christmas back to Central Point this year.”

To register to be part of the holiday parade, or to volunteer for the holiday event, send an email to nikki.peteresen@centralpointoregon.gov or call 541-663-3321, ext. 130.

Parade participation costs $10, with all proceeds going to purchase Santa bags for local children.

For more information, see centralpointoregon.gov/parksrec/page/community-cupids-holiday-edition and centralpointchamber.org/community-christmas/

Reach freelance writer Buffy Pollock at buffyp76@yahoo.com.